Poppy dough­nuts stir de­bate

Some call idea dis­re­spect­ful

Metro Canada (Vancouver) - - CANADA - Darren Krause

A Re­mem­brance Day idea from a Tim Hor­tons em­ployee had some con­cerned that pro­ceeds weren’t ini­tially go­ing back to lo­cal vet­er­ans groups.

But now the vets are get­ting their due. Over the week­end, an em­ployee at a Tim Hor­tons in Calgary had pitched the idea of a dough­nut dec­o­rated as a poppy — a ges­ture deemed fit­ting in the lead up to Re­mem­brance Day.

“We didn’t do it with the in­ten­tion of mak­ing a profit on it,” said Tim Hor­tons lo­ca­tion man­ager Rey­nan Amon.

“One of my team mem­bers just sug­gested, ‘Why don’t we get a poppy dough­nut to re­mem­ber the vet­er­ans,’ and I thought it was a good idea.”

One per­son, who brought the con­cern to Metro af­ter it was cir­cu­lated by Calgary so­cial-me­dia maven Crack­macs, felt the dis­play and sale of the dough­nuts was out of line. The tip­ster wanted to re­main anony­mous be­cause of a con­nec­tion to the fran­chise.

“Per­son­ally, I felt it was dis­re­spect­ful … con­sid­er­ing all of the hard work and the pain and the suf­fer­ing that went into giv­ing us the free­dom we have,” they said.

Amon did say that the lo­ca­tion promi­nently dis­plays the poppy do­na­tion box at its front counter, and should the poppy dough­nuts cause a stir he would have them re­moved. He said nei­ther cus­tomers nor Tim Hor­tons cor­po­rate of­fice has asked they be re­moved.

John Rath­well CD, gen­eral man­ager for the Calgary Poppy Fund and Vet­er­ans Food Bank, said that, good ges­ture aside, the poppy is a trade­mark-pro­tected sym­bol for the Do­min­ion Com­mand of the Royal Canadian Le­gion and per­mis­sion is re­quired for its use.

“I’d be the first per­son to shake that (em­ployee’s) hand to say thank you for think­ing of this dur­ing this time of re­mem­brance,” said Rath­well.

“At the same time … it’s a sa­cred sym­bol in this part of re­mem­brance that only runs for a week and a half a year.”

In this case, Rath­well said pub­lic per­cep­tion is of­ten where the fine line is drawn on these mar­ket­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties — whether or not peo­ple see that some­thing is be­ing done with the pro­ceeds to help lo­cal vet­er­ans.

Tim Hor­tons re­sponded late Wed­nes­day, say­ing the restau­rant owner will be match­ing and do­nat­ing 100 per cent of the poppy dough­nut pro­ceeds to the Royal Canadian Le­gion.


These poppy dough­nuts at a calgary Tim Hor­tons are rais­ing eye­brows on­line.

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